Formatting the smartphone: why and when to do it

Reporting the smartphone to factory settings is a fundamental operation to keep the device always in "shape"

We all know that when a computer, especially if with Microsoft operating system, seems "tired" and goes much slower than it should the simplest solution is only one: format the hard disk and reinstall from scratch all applications.

Not everyone knows, however, that the same is true for smartphones. Both Apple iPhones and thousands of Android-based smartphones suffer from similar problems to computers in the long run: the interface isn't as responsive as it used to be, apps take longer to load, and some of them start working weird for no apparent reason. The reason, however, is there, and total smartphone recovery, with erasure of all data, is the answer. If we have previously made a backup of our data, moreover, we will not lose a single document, photo or video.

Why smartphones slow down

As the months go by, every app we download, install and use accumulates many megabytes of data on the device's internal memory, which, over time, starts to become useless and then harmful: temporary files, old settings files, Apk files of the app installer (on Android) are all files that we don't need and can create problems.

A corrupted settings file, in most cases, leads to various app malfunctions. When we install an update, almost always, that file is replaced by a new one. But the old one remains and takes up space. When we uninstall an app, on the other hand, it almost always leaves orphaned files on the phone. The internal memories of smartphones, finally, are always faster when they are more free, so the very fact of cleaning gives us better performance.

When to format your smartphone

There is no fixed deadline for formatting a smartphone: it depends on the use you make of the device. People who use their phones extensively, install and uninstall a lot of apps, and use them often, will need to format their phones much earlier than those who use their phones more moderately. The first type of user may need to format the device even every three or four months, while the second may do it every six or eight months.

How to format your smartphone

Before formatting your smartphone make sure you have backed up all your important data. If we use cloud systems like Apple's iCloud or Google Drive/Photos much of our data will already be saved online. Once our data is safe, we can go ahead and "plane" the smartphone's memory.

If it's an iPhone we'll have to go to Settings > General > Restore and select the "Erase all content and settings" option. On Android we'll have to go to Settings > System > Advanced > Reset Options > Erase All Data (Factory Data Reset). As always, in the case of Android smartphones, the settings may change from phone to phone but, in all cases, before restoring the smartphone we will have to connect it to the power grid and Wi-Fi, so that the procedure does not stop and when restarting the phone can reconnect to our account and download all our saved settings.